• By Christina Howell
  • Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Jury Duty Scam

Be on the lookout for the latest scam!

Here's how the scam works: The scammer calls you and says "Hello, I'm Deputy Smith with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office. You recently missed Jury Duty and I have a warrant for your arrest."

You naturally panic, because no one wants to hear there is a warrant for his arrest.

You take a deep breath and think to ask questions, but the scammers are good. They provide (fake) badge numbers. They know your address. Maybe where you work. Maybe the name of your spouse and your children. It's all publicly available information that they can look up to better scam you.

The scammers then tell you that if you would rather not be arrested, they can dismiss the warrant for arrest but only if you pay them. The amount ranges from several hundred to several thousand dollars. They will instruct you to put the money on gift cards. They may even tell you specifically where to go to purchase the gift cards.

And if you act hesitant, they will remind you that you are the one who missed jury duty, so you are going to be arrested. They may even threaten you, saying they will hurt you or your loved ones if you tell anyone about this.

The scammers will arrange to call you back in a certain amount of time. During that time, you are expected to go and purchase the gift cards. When they call you back, you will be told to read the numbers to the scammers so they can immediately remove the money from each gift card and put it in their personal bank accounts.

There are many variations to this scam, but no matter what form it takes, IT IS STILL A SCAM. Legitimate law enforcement officers do not call to tell you when they have warrants for your arrest. They do not dismiss warrants for arrest. And they do not accept payment in any form, even gift cards.

Even more specifically, the Forsyth County Clerk of Courts does not request the Sheriff's Office to issue arrest warrants if someone does miss jury duty. (At most, you will be charged a fine.)

So if you receive a phone call like the one described above, do not become a victim. Immediately hang up. Call the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office non-emergency number at 336-727-2112 and speak with a dispatcher. Tell them about the conversation . Do not give your money to scammers!

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